DIOR INCOME RISES, GALLIANO SALES CITED

PARIS — Accessories designed by John Galliano and the expansion of its boutique network helped boost operating income at Christian Dior Couture last year by 61 percent to $13 million.
As reported, 2000 sales of Dior ready-to-wear and accessories leaped 35 percent to $277.4 million. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange.
The figures were announced Friday, two days after LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton disclosed that its net income last year increased 15 percent to $786.8 million. Net income at Christian Dior SA, the parent of LVMH and Christian Dior Couture, rose 11 percent to $824.9 million. Operating income for the parent increased 27 percent to $1.83 billion.
Sidney Toledano, president of Christian Dior Couture, said strong sales of handbags, particularly Galliano’s “Saddle” range, contributed to profitability. He added that small leather goods, sunglasses and lingerie have allowed the brand to widen its customer base and tap into high-margin accessories categories. “Ready-to-wear has also been very successful,” he said, noting that Dior’s “trailer trash” T-shirts for spring are selling well along with its Cadillac handbags resembling a chunk of a car door.
As with LVMH, Christian Dior SA is forecasting double-digit growth targets for sales and profitability in 2001.